Category Archives: Events

John Lewis: The Bear & The Hare

Angry BearThis grizzly bear is doing a pretty good job of aping my reaction to Christmas.

Everyone is going mental for the ‘touching’ John Lewis advert again, which is a blatant Animals of Farthing Hood rip off soundtracked by something no one needed to hear: Lily Allen covering Keane. It’s good, but obviously it doesn’t even come close to melting my ice cold heart or eliciting any kind of Christmas cheer from me. However, this touching tale of cartoon animals does carry an important lesson: if your BFF happens to be an apex predator, you might want to round up a few unwitting friends morsels in the hope that your carnivorous frienemy eats them first. Look how happy the bear is when he sees the meat feast he has woken up to…John Lewis Hare and BearAnyway, enough of my cynicism, here’s the actual advert, which was made by Adam & Eve/DDB and produced by Blinkink and Hornet. The animation really is lovely – and is the result of a lot of hard work – but I’d recommend muting it and playing something more appealing over the top.

Review: Storms at Club NME

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© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

California Fishing Groups Sue to Stop Sea Otters

Wow. I guess Americans really will try to sue anything.

Luckily, this sea otter doesn’t seem too cut up about it.ImageHe’s like: “Look at all the fucks I give…NONE!”

Whereas this one…OTTSEA_26633_MasterThis one’s thinking: “FUCK MY LIFE! FUCK MY FUCKING LIFE!”

And this histrionic little dickhead just enjoys a drama.Dramatic Sea OtterAny old drama.

Sneaky Sea OtterBut this pompous sea otter knows his rights. He understands legal strategy better than me. He’s also got a whole load of family money to support him…and a healthy property portfolio to fall back on in case he has to relocate. Smug bastard.

Kinetica GIF!

Kinetica AnimationThese are some photographs I took at Kinetica Art Fair back in March. I wanted an excuse to play around with the GIF Maker on 15 Folds using my own photographs; these images were perfect because I could easily align the spheres to be the same size on Photoshop.

The Black Angels Tour Posters

Back Angels VancouverMatt Cliff Black AngelsBlack Angels Matt CliffBlack Angels HoustonBlack Angels TexasBlack Angels TucsonBlack Angels PortlandBlack Angels CaliforniaBlack Angels San FranciscoBlack Angels DallasGorgeous gig posters for The Black Angels – so many different variations for each location on the American tour. These are all by Matt Cliff, who got in touch with me after I originally posted about how much I liked the branding for the new album and The Black Angels’ Facebook cover.

Reasons To Be Cheerful: Bass Drum Of Death

It’s May and the weather is still awful and a whole load of other stuff isn’t going so well for me either, but I am seeing Bass Drum Of Death at The Black Heart – a tiny venue in Camden – on Thursday. I’ve loved these guys for two years and I haven’t seen them yet so…yay!

Google Doodle: Saul Bass

2 Saul Bass Google Doodle3 Saul Bass Google Doodle4 Saul Bass Google Doodle5 Saul Bass Google Doodle6 Saul Bass Google Doodle7 Saul Bass Google Doodle8 Saul Bass Google Doodle9 Saul Bass Google Doodle10 Saul Bass Google Doodle11 Saul Bass Google Doodle12 Saul Bass Google Doodle13 Saul Bass Google DoodleAnimated tribute to legendary graphic designer, Saul Bass, on Google today – amazing.